Five Tips for Building a First Rate Board Candidate Profile on theBoardlist

Want to get on a board? Be sure your profile is current & clear

Image by Molly Belle

How you present yourself as a board candidate is critical to how you are perceived by CEOs, investors, and recruiters who are looking for their next great board member. On theBoardlist, endorsed candidates have the opportunity to develop a board candidate profile with details including experience, expertise and preferences for board service (industries of interest, stage of company, willingness to travel, and more). It’s a powerful tool to get you noticed and gives searchers a strong impression of how you may fit with their goals and needs as an independent director.

Below are five tips to help you build a board candidate profile that communicates your accomplishments, goals, and the skills and perspective you’ll bring to the table as a board member.

Tip #1: Craft a strong, relevant headline

Your headline sits at the top of your profile and is a great place to highlight what you are best at — in 140 characters. Use this space to market/brand yourself by listing your #1 speciality or summarizing your wealth of experience in one pithy tweet-sized statement.

An example of a strong headline, from our VP of product & business operations, Lesley Grossblatt: Launched LatAm and UK product at Netflix; led growth at Nextdoor.

Tip #2: Showcase your superpower

When crafting your profile on theBoardlist, keep your audience in mind: CEOs, founders, current board members, VCs and recruiters. In addition to expertise, searchers are often looking for specific experience, and it should be easy to tell if you have it (e.g., growth/scaling, multidimensional management, international, etc). And don’t forget about your superpowers — the intangibles like communication style (can you persuade others), comfort with risk and uncertainty, etc. These insights are invaluable to searchers and demonstrate that you understand the qualities needed in the boardroom.

Tip #3: Show Evidence

When you highlight a skill or quality, provide an example to back up what you say. For example, if you are great at driving and managing growth, say that, and then provide detailed examples: “I grew a business from $100m to $1b” or “I took a company public”. If you can’t support a “top” skill with a strong example (or two), choose another to highlight.

Tip #4: Fill in your board interests

Don’t forget that what you are looking for in a board opportunity is as important as what the searcher is looking for in a candidate — a “fit” works both ways. Specify the things you are looking for in a board, like company size, stage, location, and industry. Not only does it help searchers get to know you as a candidate, it also helps us with matchmaking.

Tip #5: Get more endorsements

One endorsement from a peer who knows your work well is great, five are better. Ask your mentors or other colleagues who meet our criteria for Endorsers if they will endorse you on theBoardlist. They can simply email us at support@theboardlist.com.

Bonus tip: Photos matter — You already know how important it is to have a high-quality, professional quality headshot. Make sure it’s uploaded to your profile.

Take the time to log in, view your profile and make sure it accurately reflects who you are as a board candidate. It doesn’t take long, and it’s time well spent. Below is a great example of a strong board candidate profile (thanks Lesley):

Notice Lesley’s headline highlights her superpower and experience.